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Women's Counselling Services

Women come to Interval House of Ottawa to break the cycle of violence in their lives and the lives of their children. Our women's counsellors provide over 550 hours of in shelter counselling support to IHO women each year. We offer individual, tailored support to IHO women in the following areas:

  • crisis intervention;

  • short-term, goal focused counselling; and

  • practical supports.

Practical Supports to Facilitate Transition


Our counsellors work closely with the women to offer support and address their immediate safety concerns. Risk assessments and safety plans are completed and continuously revisited throughout their stay in order to speak to their current individual circumstances.

As each women’s journey is unique, women’s counsellors collaborate with the residents to develop a counselling and goal plan. This may include weekly counselling sessions and networking with other agencies such as outside counsellors, psychiatrists, doctors, and other medical professionals to ensure that the women are receiving holistic care that accounts for their physical, mental and emotional needs.

Women’s counsellors also liaise with and/or make referrals to other community service providers in order to attend to a woman’s practical needs. They support women in working through issues and navigating the systems related to financial support, family law, criminal law, legal aid, immigration matters, employment, job training, and further education.

Counsellors also facilitate therapeutic programming and support groups working with women to better their futures and build their lives free from violence.

In order to support women in their new communities, our counsellors are able to continue meeting with past residents for up to six months after they leave IHO. During these transition phases counsellors focus on connecting women with community resources and helping them become familiar and comfortable with their new surroundings.


I support IHO... "to honour a dear friend who lost her life as a result of domestic violence." - current donor 

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